Investor Group Buys Shuttered Cosmopolis Pulp Mill

Sept. 20, 2010 - The Gores Group, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm, said that it led an investor group in the acquisition of the Weyerhaueser's shuttered Cosmopolis pulp mill.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"The Cosmopolis mill has a wonderful heritage of producing very high quality products and we are delighted to operate this mill alongside a management team that has substantial experience restarting and managing similar mills,” said Jordan W. Katz, managing director of The Gores Group. “We are proud to be leveraging our resources to restore the Cosmopolis mill and create new jobs in the Cosmopolis area.”

The Cosmopolis mill, built in 1957, has the capacity to manufacture 140,000 tons per year of specialty pulp for plastics, photographic papers, and cigarette filters, among other products. Weyerhaeuser shut down the mill in September 2006.

According to Gores Group, the mill will operate under the name of Cosmo Specialty Fibers, Inc.

Gores said that it will commence a complete refurbishment and restart of the mill.

Dermot F. Smurfit, chairman of the board of Cosmo Specialty Fibers, Inc. added, “The mill’s primary products, namely viscose and acetate, are currently in tight supply worldwide and we see strong growth prospects for the products over the next few years. Gores’ strong operational expertise and focus, combined with the experience of Richard Bassett and his team, which will help refurbish the mill and lead the sales efforts, will ensure a successful restart of the mill and position the asset to achieve its full potential.”

“We are extremely pleased to have completed the sale to Gores and its partners,” said Dan Fulton, president and chief executive officer of Weyerhaeuser. “We understand the importance of the mill as an economic driver to not only the City of Cosmopolis, but the surrounding community as well, and look forward to helping with a smooth transition of ownership. The Gores Group and its partners bring a vast and diverse set of experience and we wish them well in this new venture. Finally, we would like to thank the Governor and the state and local elected officials in the community for their continued efforts and support for the re-opening of the mill.”

Over the next weeks, the new company will announce the employment application process.

SOURCE: The Gores Group, Weyerhaeuser Company